All posts by Larry Chapman

A retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd.

Enemies of the People

Several times during his stay in the White House Donald Trump has used the phrase, “enemy of the people.”  He has aimed it at his own security agencies, against all Democrats, who he now insists hate Jews, and against the media of record, which he insists is fake.

Recently Trump again raged against the New York Times, calling it the enemy of the people for an article that comes even closer to proving he has used his executive office powers to further obstruct those investigations probing deeper into his own misbehaviors.

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The Very Short History of American Health Care

One aspect of American history that is pretty simple to understand is the history of government-sponsored health care. The short and long answers are the same, there hasn’t been much. There was an early program for seaman, another for impoverished former slaves, a little attention given to some mentally ill people, and that’s about it until Medicare and Medicaid were passed in 1965.  There were earlier attempts and while progressive health care programs became realities elsewhere in the world the doctors of America, and their American Medical Association were vehemently opposed to what they saw as insidious socialism.

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Trump’s Health Care Plan is to Pay Your Taxes & Die

I could easily begin this piece with a list of all the things Trump promised his supporters in 2016 but has failed to deliver on. If I did at the top of the list would have to be that thing about Mexico building a wall and paying for it.

But the wall pales in contrast to the promises he made to provide Americans with a world-class health care system. Early on he promised:

“To repeal Obamacare ‘immediately’ and replace it with ‘something terrific.”

Well, from taking office in 2017 until the Democrats regained the House in 2018, strongly on the issue of health care, Trump and his totally GOP government have miserably failed to do so. It took Obama and the support of every Democrat a full two years to create the less than perfect ACA and despite dozens of GOP bills and court cases, it has been weakened but not erased. And in spite of its weaknesses, millions of Americans do have some level of health care they didn’t have before the ACA.

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America Is Not A Theocracy – We Have a Constitution

Recently someone I know on Facebook posted the following meme. At first, I wanted to call them ugly names and lob obscenities at them. After a little cooling off I decided to use it as a teaching moment.
After the person posted the meme a discussion followed in which the poster stated:
 
“but does it not say in the constitution that Muslim are not aloud [sic] to keep office or was it the declaration vant [sic] remember will have to look that one up again. Plus I’ve had someone else on here state this fact to. Just not sure who right now. But if ur an American citizen they should swear on the bible and stand in front of the American flag.”

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Barr is the First Pitch of the First Inning of a Game that Could Set a Record for Overtime

Trump appoints and the GOP controlled Senate approves an Attorney General with an easy to see and fully documented bias against the appointment of a special counsel. That handpicked and biased AG was hand a report that took over two years to compile and in less than two full days issues a summary that draws game-changing conclusions. He concludes there is no evidence of collusion between Trump and his people and the Russians. All along, however, it has been argued conclusively that there is no such crime as collusion.

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I Don’t Need a Mueller Report, I Have a TV

When news of the Mueller report being released came out on Friday there was great speculation about what it will tell. Many people are disappointed that it wasn’t accompanied by further indictments. Bill Maher made the remark that he wasn’t concerned about what the report doesn’t reveal, he has a TV set. Well, so do I.

By paying close attention to over two years of investigative broadcast and written journalism we all know, whether we’re willing to accept it, what Meuller found out. We all know that his investigation into Trump and his people produced thirty-seven indictments and every single one of them in some way involves a Russian. We know Trump’s closest friends and associates have either been in jail, are in jail, or will be going to jail. We know that others are awaiting sentencing, a couple are still providing information for ongoing investigations and another has taken the fifth to avoid admitting to complicity, We also know that a major contributor is being protected in the embassy of a South American nation.

I also know that every part of Trump world remains under investigation by state and federal agencies, His charity has been forced to close due to fraudulent practices, he inherited over $400 million from his father that is likey rift with tax problems that will attract the attention of the IRS and state tax agencies. I know that several Democratically controlled US House committees are digging deep into his most private life. I know that his daughter and son in law are subjets of improperly receiving intelligence clearances and communicating government business via unimproved methods.

I know that his continued involvement in his businesses is being attacked as violations of the emolument clause of the US Constitution and that Trump has been sued by at least two states for such infractions. And, I know that he remains listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a campaign violation case.

Furthermore, I know that Trump has little to no respect for the rule of law. That he has no regard for separation of powers and believes the rest of government exists to serve his purposes. I know that every time he utters a lie or distortion of truth fact checkers at the Washington Post make note of it and thus far he has lied to the American people approaching 10,000 times since taking office on January 20, 2017.

As of this afternoon, Sunday, March 24, 2019, I know that Attorney General Barr’s report to Congress appears to exonerate Trump from working with the Russians to manipulate the 2016 election but that the question of whether he worked to obstruct the Meuller investigation remains an open question.

From my TV, and my Google Machine, I know all of this and much more. Unfortunately, I know that all of this is far from over and that Trump and his loyalists will engage America in a never-ending civil war of rants and tweets trying to win their claim that it has all been a fake news witch hunt sponsored by some nefarious group called the deep state.

Most unfortunate is that I know those who have wet their whistle from the cup of Trump Kool-Aid will never accept the evidence uncovered by that army of dedicated legitimate investigative journalists who seek the truth, regardless of who their spotlights sign on.

Our Economic Realities & Trump is not the Wizard

I was recently in the mountains of Northern Georgia and around several bends in the road and tucked down in some holler there’d be a sort of enclave of broken down house trailers where people were eking out some kind of a life for themselves. There’s nothing unique about this, you can see the same thing in any state and any city, people barely getting along.

What caught my eye in Georgia however, were the occasional displays of rabbit support for Donald Trump. There would be weather-worn commercial MAGA flags and Trump signs along with crudely painted Trump signs made from whatever flat surface could be found.

As always I was stunned at the support given to a man who has no knowledge of or affinity towards these hidden Americans. Trump doesn’t know they exist and even if he does, he doesn’t care. He has made no effort to address the needs of poor Americans, in fact, just the contrary. His most recent budget proposal calls for drastic cuts into Medicaid and SNAP, both federal programs that often spell life or death for the poor.

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There’s a New Messiah in Town, And it’s…

Trump came out in favor of Israel taking sovereignty over the hotly disputed Golan Heights and America’s Secretary of State is all a giggle over the possibility of a new messiah, Donald Trump.

Appearing with the soon to be indicted  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pompeo was asked if Trump could, with the backing of God, be the savior of the Jews? Pompeo replied…

“As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible, I am confident the Lord is at work here.” 

Above the Law?

Trump said yesterday that since he received millions of votes he shouldn’t be investigated by anyone who is not elected. Well, I think this needs some considerations.

  1. Since the entire federal judicial system, from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on down to lowest paid employee of the Department of Justice, isn’t elected, does that mean those politicians who are elected are above the law?
  2. There doesn’t need to be a second consideration. All we Americans need to do is honestly answer how we feel about giving politicians a blank check to cover everything they may want to engage in.

Tanks, Cars, SUVs, Robots, and Steam Drills

I’m sure those who work at the Lima, OH tank factory were happy to see their jobs saved. But economically speaking, everyone needs to remember that jobs building military hardware are in no way as economically valuable in the long-haul as nongovernmental jobs.
Those lost private industry jobs making consumer products at Lordstown, Ohio were far more important than those jobs saved at Lima. Every car made at GM plants affects the economy in every corner of the nation. The same is simply not true about rebuilding a decades-old war machine. And for Trump to put any part of the blame on the closing of Lordstown on union workers is simply assinine.

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Capt. Rambo the Cape Crusader!

This story came out of a chain of events. On Facebook, several of us were talking about the late Mac Wiseman and how his voice was so unique and that led me to think about Texas songwriter Guy Clark, who also had a unique and warm voice. I then went to YouTube and came upon a video of Clark singing “The Cape.” The lyrics of Clark’s song brought back a memory of Tom Rambo and several of us neighborhood kids reenacting something we’d seen in a movie serial.

There was a Saturday matinee serial featuring some guys who flew around in phony looking spaceships wearing something that resembled a two-gallon bucket on their heads and capes that attached to their necks and ran down their backs attaching to the wrists and ankles. When they saw something bad happening on the ground they zoom down in their rocket, open the side door, and leap into the air with their arms and legs spread out akin to a flying squirrel. They’d then swoop onto the bad guys, subdue them, and save the day.

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White Crackers

POOR WHITE CRACKERS: I spent the day driving through the mountains and valleys of North Georgia. Everything is in bloom here and it really is beautiful. I came down from one mountain into a creek bottom and was stunned by a sea of red, white, and blue. There was a small army of native-born poor American white crackers, donned with red, white, and blue kerchiefs around their necks and bright red MAGA caps on their heads, working the blooming onion fields. I did some research and the blooming onions will be exported to Australia, thus improving our nation’s trade deficit. This freaking Trump is working his genius. Who needs immigrant pickers when you got a bunch of poor white crackers? BTW, I swear on a stack of Trump autographed Bibles that this is true!

The Not So Happy History Of Our Early Home Videos

Brownie 8mm movie camera.

Some of you may recall that at one time the only option we mortals had for home movies was an 8mm silent camera. Other than being the only option, the product sucked. All the neighborhood kids running round in blurry, grainy, flickering black and white globs of motion and dust.

Then came Super 8mm cameras and the quality became… I haven’t a clue. Other than costing more money I can’t say much more without Googling.

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Every Litter Bit Hurts So Try Giving A Shit

It’s warming up and getting closer to Earth Day.  Like every spring there’s a winter’s worth of trash in our yards, streets, and highway ditches, much of it comes from drive-thru restaurants and beverage barns.

No need to do the research or to manufacturer some story, because I personally witnessed it. Several years ago my wife and I volunteered to pick up litter on Foraker Street between SR 138 and the 7th Street Bridge.  From just one side of that very short street, we filled our pick up truck with trash that was, as stated, carry out wrappers from fast food, and tossed beverage containers, especially beer cans. Not a single resident offered to help and within a couple of months, it was as littered as ever.

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